J. finally called this morning, exhausted and weary. He has had a rough couple of weeks. A nearby American unit lost several soldiers to a roadside bomb (according to J., "driving down the road is the most dangerous thing a soldier can do"). And J. is now on night patrol with the Iraqis in attempt to curb and catch insurgents planting IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices). The Iraqi soldiers are supposed to be doing these tasks themselves, but the American Team agreed to join them on the patrols for a while. J. says they hope to be done with this particular task soon.
That's what I keep thinking. It's this tape that plays in my head on the "incessant" setting. Have you ever had sobs well up in your throat? That has been me since last night, when I was struck with panic and anxiety for no reason (well, some reason--I haven't heard from J. in over a week and that always makes me panicky, because it means he's traveling - a dangerous activity these days).
Iraq had a bad day today. That was how one journalist described the bloodshed and mayhem in Iraq over the last 24 hours. They're talking about being on the verge of civil war. And I'm walking a treadmill at the Y, picking up a coffee at Starbucks, and trolling the aisles at Walmart for things I can send to J. Sometimes it feels surreal that my contribution to J.'s effort is sending travel-size toothpaste and a deck of cards. I feel useless and disconnected and I want to know where J. is.
Of course, I always miss J. terribly, but especially so when it comes to husband jobs. Like squashing spiders, and taking out the trash on Mondays...and unclogging pipes. Must add to growing list of Things Not To Cram Down Garbage Disposal: Item #3 - gummy macaroni noodles.
Anyway, I actually took a pic of the pipes I took apart to prove to J. I had to do icky things, too (okay, so its not quite as meaningful or stressful as training hundreds of Iraqi soldiers in the cold, desolate desert and mud, but it's still worth noting).
...then I took a pic to show that my girly french manicure survived. Even got a compliment on them today.
In this letter to the the 3rd ACR, the Iraqi Mayor of Tall Afar, Iraq, describes the American soldiers (3rd ACR) that deployed to their city as "lionhearted saviors." The letter is actually a plea for the soldiers to stay (so much for the left's assertion that Iraqis don't want us there, and for the theory that we should pull out of Iraq yesterday).
One of J.'s friends, C., is with the 3rd ACR referenced in this letter. I'm proud of C. for being a part of this mission and I think its hugely important that SOMEONE call attention to this Thank You from the Iraqis for U.S. troop involvement in their community.
Note: there is another, more effusive "letter" that is being circulated on blogs and in emails, but it has yet to be authenticated by anyone. The letter I have posted here is actually referenced in transcripts from General Casey himself.
This is Tote #3 - pics of this tote have actually been up a while. Its so January (a tote from last month's anxiety). I've moved on to more crises and furious sewing. :) As promised, the instructions are here (and also posted in the "How To Make" list).
For the last few weeks I have noticed a sort of "ditz" factor about me that's become pretty annoying. This isn't a new phenomenon for me, unfortunately. I've been like this since I was pregnant with E. But for some reason I thought that I would return to my normal bright self after she was born. Today's Flake Moment? I wore someone else's name tag for the first hour of my Bible study this morning - not because I accidentally grabbed the wrong one while reaching for my own, but because I basically just fished a name tag out of the box and put it on without any thought to whose name it was. Which I think is pretty flaky. I was lamenting about this to a friend today: "D., everyone told me that I would feel like I lost brain cells while I was pregnant. But what's going on? Shouldn't I have them back by now?" To which she chuckled and replied, "Just consider it a donation." I guess E. is destined for brilliance.
For whatever reason, I didn't hear the phone ring the first time. When I picked it up the second time, J. didn't hear me answer, and we were cut off almost right away. The time between phone calls is so random that it pains me to have missed one.